Local lakes reopen for recreation

March 22, 2008 11:39:52 AM PDT
After being closed for months because of the drought, several Triangle lakes reopened Saturday.

In Durham County, Lake Michie and Little River Reservoir were among those open for recreational activity.

People fishing and boats heading out on the water isn't something you could find at Lake Michie in Northern Durham County since last summer.

"I had been waiting all the winter that the lake would open up and praying and hoping the Lord would bring us some rain so I could go fishing," Durham resident Florence Morehead-Nelson said.

She got her wish Saturday morning when Lake Michie reopened for recreational activity. She and dozens of others rushed to be first back on the water.

"That's the reason we came early cause we said there's gonna be a lot of people," Nelson said.

Along with Little River Lake, Michie is part of Durham;s water supply.

That supply was severely threatened last summer with ramps sitting in mud as the worst drought on record in North Carolina forced both lakes to close.

The ramps were inaccessible with the lake being so low, so they had to shut the lake down for recreational purposes. It shut down around August and by December, Lake Michie was about 15 feet below normal.

"It was really, really low," Bahama resident Jerry Britt said. "You could tell it was like a stream coming up here, and I just wonder if this lake would ever get back on track."

For now it seems the lakes are back on track. Both Michie and Little River are full, but Durham is one of 45 counties still in an extreme drought. Stage Four restrictions remain for Durham residents.

"I think we should conserve what we have at the moment," Durham resident Ying Yang said.

Conserving is what helped Lake Michie reopen and those happy to return to fishing, like Nelson, are hoping days on the water aren't numbered.

University Lake in Orange County also reopened Saturday.


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